Logi MX Master 3 Review
June 20, 2021
5 minute read
In this review, I’m going to highlight what I like and dislike about the Logi MX Master 3, and compare it to the other mice that I use regularly. This is not a comprehensive review, though I do go in depth on some key issues.
On my 2018 Mac mini, I primarily use a Magic Trackpad 2. I love the gestures and the smooth scrolling is hard to beat, however in recent weeks I have felt some wrist pain develop.
I own a Glorious Model D, which I use with my PC and have tried to use with macOS, however scrolling is a pain without smoothing and it needs a third-party app to fix this.
I decided to look into alternate mice that work well with macOS, and settled on the Logitech MX Master 3. This is my review after one week of daily use.
I opted for the non-Mac-specific version, as I read there’s been a lot of Bluetooth issues with the Mac version and you won’t get a Logitech mouse dongle with the Mac version.
The MX Master 3 has all your standard mouse features. It points, it clicks, it zooms and scrolls. It goes back and forth. What more could you want?
Well, I guess horizontal scrolling is nice - and the MX Master 3 provides a thumb-level horizontal scroll wheel, in addition to the normal scroll wheel between the left and right mouse buttons.
This horizontal scroll wheel is also supposed to allow you to change brush size in Photoshop, however I refuse to use Adobe products and instead use Affinity Designer + Photo, a better solution where you only have to pay once.
Unfortunately, the horizontal scroll wheel does not change the brush size in Affinity’s products, and I can’t find a way to change it to work in the limited Logi Options utility. This was a major letdown for me.
It also has a weird gesture button, located beneath the thumb on the thumb rest. It’s supposed to allow you to perform gestures with the mouse when held down, and in practice, it’s not great. It takes a lot of effort to hold the button down and then you need to move the mouse a large distance under the default settings (about 3 inches). There doesn’t seem to be a way to change this.
The default action of the gesture button on macOS is to open Mission Control, which is handy. All it takes is a click, you don’t have to perform some awkward gesture to do so (although it does provide one where you hold down the button and move the mouse up).
You can of course re-assign the gesture button, and many of the other buttons, using Logi Options.
Weight and feel
It fits very well in my large hand, and the weight isn’t an issue. It actually feels satisfying heavy.
The scroll wheels are metal and feel nice to use.
The clickers sound light but require a tiny bit more force to actuate than the Model D, and less force than the Magic Trackpad 2. They also don’t feel as satisfying as the Model D.
I felt this deserved its own section, as using a non-Apple mouse with macOS is always a challenge. Most don’t have smooth scrolling, and you’d have to rely on third-party applications like Mos or Mac Mouse Fix to get non-choppy scrolling back, and those have some weird delayed inertial issues sometimes. You’ll also need those apps if you want your back and forward buttons to work.
Why smooth-scrolling isn’t an OS-level option available to any mouse is beyond me.
Logi Options has a smooth scroll setting, and it works okay. It’s nowhere as smooth as the Magic Trackpad, and there’s a lot of jank, but it’s usable. It’s a lot smoother if you turn off scroll wheel ratcheting.
Which brings me to the “Hyper-fast Scroll Wheel” feature, which goes by several different marketing names, including “SmartShift”.
This is awful. There’s no other way to put it. The times you’ll want to scroll fast make the page jump into warp and you’re instantly at the end, faster than pressing the End key.
The threshold is adjustable, however I found turning it off the best option. The metal scroll wheel actually has some inertia by default, so you can achieve a similar, but actually usable, effect by flicking the scroll wheel.
Accuracy and acceleration
macOS mouse acceleration bothers me a lot, and there’s no easy way to turn it off. On Windows and Linux, I have mouse acceleration turned off entirely. It started as a gaming-related tweak, and then I got used to using the mouse without acceleration and have had a hard time going back.
The acceleration is fine with the Magic Trackpad, and I actually prefer to have acceleration on trackpads. Desktop mice though - no thanks.
Logi Options provides no way to turn off acceleration, which is a bummer. However, the mouse is fairly accurate, with a 4,000 DPI sensor. I’m finding the Model D slightly better in this regard, however it’s not a fair comparison because the sensor can go up to 12,000 DPI.
The acceleration will just need some getting used to.
Some have pointed out that the pointer will sometimes jitter or behave erratically with the MX Master 3, however I have yet to experience this and suspect this issue is causing by Bluetooth, while I use the dongle.
If you’re looking for a mouse that works decently well with macOS and want to be able to remap buttons and functions, this mouse is a solid option.